Disgorged May 2019. This is a very special wine from a very special plot of dirt. It comes from one-third of a hectare of vines in the renowned Avize vineyard called La Fosse. The vines here were planted in 1959 so they are extremely old by Champagne standards. It’s therefore a single parcel cuvée made in tiny quantities each year. The wine is named after the Boulonnais mare, Vénus, that first ploughed the vineyard. Apart from being ploughed by horse, this 0.3-hectare section of La Fosse lies on the very chalkiest portion of the slope near the village, contrasting with the more clay-rich soils of the Avizoise cuvee. Vénus is today one of the truly great cuvées of Champagne; it always shows incredible depth and yet retains finesse and subtlety, with pillowy layers of texture and serious complexity. In a year like 2012, it is mind-blowing. As always it is non-dosé and the 2012 spent over six years on lees. It is a magic, intense wine that can really benefit from decanting when young. It will also benefit further from two or three years further ageing and demands food. Treat it like a great white wine, served at the table with proper wine glasses, and you will be greatly rewarded.
“The 2012 Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Vénus is ethereal, elusive and eccentric. It is also mesmerizingly beautiful. The expression of fruit is a bit richer and riper than in the other 2012s, with orchard fruit and tropical overtones that give the wine a sense of inner perfume and raciness. Soft curves and striking aromatics make for a stunning Champagne, an impression that is reinforced by the super-refined mousse. Persistent, racy and over, the Vénus is simply fabulous in 2012. Old vines planted in 1959 in the La Fosse lieu-dit inform the Vénus. Non-dosé.” 95 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous, November 2018